Having four little kids at home all summer long as been quite the challenge. Our little babies still take two fairly long naps, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Because of their schedules, we’ve felt very chained to the house and I’ve had a lot of mom-guilt for not being able to take my big kids out! I think that’s been the hardest transition for us… we used to explore and get out every day before the twins. The park, the zoo, the splash pad, museums. Whatever it was, I always made getting out such a priority because I’m just a better mom away from the house. Our cabin fever was becoming too much and I finally hired a sitter to come twice a week during nap time so that I could get out and spend some quality time with my big kids. It’s been heaven-sent! I wish I had done it sooner.
Since moving to Ohio, I’ve felt this overwhelming weight on my shoulders… just knowing that we’re thousands of miles away from family puts some pressure on us. We’re all alone. If I need help with the kids, or need to run a quick errand, or I don’t feel like making Sunday dinner, just little things… we’re on our own. And for the most part, it’s been a good opportunity for Brian and I to learn to rely on each other and we’ve definitely gained some confidence knowing that we don’t need any help! That we’re tough and can handle it. But there’s that pressure that’s always there. My sister came for a week at the beginning of the summer with her boys and I remember when she came I felt like I could just breathe easier! And when she left, that heavy weight came back. It’s hard to explain… but if you live far away from family I have a good sense you understand what I’m talking about.
So… where was I? Oh yeah. I finally hired a babysitter, despite being so nervous with our babysitting experiences in the past. It was do-or-die, so it was worth the risk and at some point we have to start trusting again. So I hired a girl from our church who we love and who has been so great for our family and twice a week I get out with the kids and she helps me fold laundry and clean up the kitchen. You have no idea how amazing it is. Like I said, I wish I had done it sooner! So one of our favorite activities to do is to ride our little bucket bike to the ice cream shoppe down the street and then head to the pool in our neighborhood. Listening to the kids and their cute little conversations while riding to the pool and then just getting to hang out with them without worrying about the babies has been so great.
And it’s also made me a little sad because I’ve finally had a second to realize just how big they’re getting. Boston is six! He’s going into first grade! I mean, I knew this ha ha. But because it’s just the three of us, I’ve actually had time to see him hang out with this friends, to teach him how to swim and to watch how determined and strong-willed he is. And little Sav… goodness gracious. She’s gonna be the death of me! I know that this summer and these moments that I’ve spent with them, the clothes we wore, the smell of our sunscreen, the snacks and their little voices will be etched into my memory forever and when they’re all grown up I’ll remember this time and I’ll be so grateful for those few hours every week that I got to just be with them.
Bike: c/o Madsen
It’s sometimes hard to keep perspective. And to steal something I wrote a couple weeks ago on Instagram:
Sometimes loving them is super easy… and sometimes it’s super hard. But one thing I know is that I’m a better person because of them. And one day I’ll look back on these fleeting moments and wish that they’d lasted longer, that I’d had more time with them. To teach them, to laugh with them… to love them. So for those of you who are in the middle of the chaos, you can do it. We can do it. And it’s hard and it’s messy and sometimes it’s not fun at all. But sometimes it is. And in those moments the hard stuff is SO worth it. ❤️
These moments are worth it. And even though living away from family has been so hard, I feel blessed and I’m grateful for these experiences that have stretched our little family.
Bike: c/o Madsen